WEC Prologue: Lopez tops first session for Toyota

Jose Maria Lopez set the fastest time on the first morning of the FIA World Endurance Championship Prologue test at Barcelona, heading a Toyota one-two ahead of Sebastien Buemi.

WEC Prologue: Lopez tops first session for Toyota

On a sweltering morning at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Kamui Kobayashi laid down a benchmark of 1m30.906s in the first two hours of the morning session in the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.

That time stood until the final hour, when Lopez broke the 90-second barrier with a 1m29.991s - 0.267s up on the best time set in the sister #8 car by Buemi.

Rebellion, which is running two cars at Barcelona despite only having confirmed one for the Silverstone season-opener, was the best of the privateer squads in third and fourth.

Gustavo Menezes set the team's best time of 1m31.603s in the #3 Rebellion R-13, 1.612s off the pace, while Bruno Senna put the #1 car fourth on a 1m32.091s.

After sitting out the first half of the session, Ginetta’s Team LNT showed some signs of life with WEC veteran Stephane Sarrazin putting the first laps on the board in the #6 G60-LT-P1.

Sarrazin completed seven installation laps, none quicker than the LMP2 runners, before posting the 10th-fastest time overall in the closing stages, a 1m34.670s.

The #5 Ginetta remained in the garage all morning after a delayed build-up.

United Autosports topped LMP2 with its brand-new Oreca 07, with Paul di Resta leaving it until the final 10 minutes to set the fastest time in class, a 1m33.344s.

That was enough to beat the second-placed Signatech Alpine Oreca of Andre Negrao by 0.308s.

Racing Team Nederland, now also running Oreca machinery after switching from Dallara, was third-fastest in the hands of Giedo van der Garde on a 1m34.176s, narrowly ahead of the Cool Racing Oreca of Nicolas Lapierre.

Ferrari set the pace in GTE Pro, as Alessandro Pier Guidi and Davide Rigon set the quickest times in the #51 and #71 488 GTEs respectively in the third hour. Pier Guidi’s 1m44.040s in the #51 car was six tenths quicker than Rigon in the #71.

The brand-new Porsche 911 RSR-19s were third and fourth, Gianmaria Bruni setting the German marque's best time of 1m44.922s, ahead of the sole Pro class Aston Martin Vantage GTE.

In GTE Am, Matteo Cairoli’s early 1m45.009s effort in the #57 Porsche stood as the fastest lap of the session, the Italian leading a Project 1 lockout of the top two places ahead of the #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche.

The test was red-flagged with 1 hour and 20 minutes remaining after an off at Turn 9 for David Heinemeier Hansson in the #57 Porsche, causing an 11-minute delay.

Read Also:

shares
comments
Toyota: LMP1 handicaps are for "good of the championship"

Previous article

Toyota: LMP1 handicaps are for "good of the championship"

Next article

WEC set to move Spa race to avoid Formula E clash

WEC set to move Spa race to avoid Formula E clash
Load comments

About this article

Series WEC
Event Prologue
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Toyota Gazoo Racing WEC
Author Filip Cleeren
The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing Prime

The philosophical problems the WEC's new Hypercar class is already facing

Most of the column inches after the World Endurance Championship's opener were centred around the relative pace of the Hypercar class and the LMP2s, but there's another question that needs addressing in order for the new division to have a successful future

WEC
May 7, 2021
How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era Prime

How stumbling Toyota drew first blood in the WEC's new era

Amid concerns that the new Hypercar class would be upstaged on debut by the spec LMP2 machines at Spa, Toyota delivered the pole and victory that the vast majority of observers expected. But neither car had a clean run, which gave the grandfathered Alpine LMP1 an unexpected shot at glory.

WEC
May 4, 2021
What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era Prime

What to expect from sportscar racing's bold new Hypercar era

A slim field of three cars will be entered in the Hypercar class for the first round of the World Endurance Championship's post-LMP1 age. But there are plenty of reasons for optimism with the new wave of manufacturer entries and competing class philosophies just around the corner

WEC
Apr 29, 2021
How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era Prime

How Aston Martin scaled new heights in the Prodrive era

The 2021 FIA World Endurance Championship kicks off at Spa this weekend, but for the first time since its 2012 inception there will be no factory-run Aston Martins in the GTE Pro class. That's especially notable because as a works entity, the Prodrive era of Aston Martin Racing that began in 2005 has been a success from the very start.

WEC
Apr 27, 2021
How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname Prime

How 'Brilliant' Bob Wollek lived up to his nickname

Sportscar racing lost one of it's greatest talents 20 years ago today when Bob Wollek was knocked from his bicycle prior to the Sebring 12 Hours. The enigmatic Frenchman never won the Le Mans 24 Hours, but many still remember today why 'Brilliant Bob' became a legend

WEC
Mar 16, 2021
How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy Prime

How Ferrari's Hypercar project could bolster Leclerc's legacy

Ferrari's planned return to the top category at the Le Mans 24 Hours has further heightened anticipation for the 2023 race. Few concrete details are currently known, but already it has a high-profile superstar angling for involvement, which would make a refreshing change

WEC
Mar 5, 2021
Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile Prime

Why Ferrari is ending its 50-year top-flight sportscar racing exile

Making a return to top-flight sportscar racing after 50 years away, Ferrari will enter the Le Mans Hypercar ranks in 2023. The Italian marque denies the link with Formula 1's new cost cap that frees up resources, but it's certainly no coincidence...

WEC
Feb 25, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021